MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World - 2011-06

My mallet finger - Wednesday 15 June 2011
My mallet finger - Thursday 9 June 2011
My mallet finger - Tuesday 7 June 2011

Back to index

My mallet finger - Wednesday 15 June 2011

Posted on 2011-06-15 16:00:00
Tags: My mallet finger

Last week it was decided that my mallet finger had to be fixed via an operation during which I will get two wires inserted into my finger: One below the nail which will push the broken piece back against the bone, and one through the upper bone and halfway the middle bone so that bone doesn't move anymore.

Today was the big day. We had to be in the hospital at 08:30, which is about half an hour before Dirkie and Hanorah go to school. So they slept with their grandparents and were very excited about the fact that they got breakfast in a plastic bag in the car on their way to school. I wish everybody was so easily pleaseble.

When you made the appointment to go to the hospital, you know from the moment you enter the building you have lost control over your life until you leave you are on somebody elses schedule. It will involve a lot of waiting, and there is nothing you can do about it:

  • Waiting at reception to go to the waiting area for day surgery.
  • Waiting at the waiting area for day surgery to go to the beds at day surgery.
  • Waiting at the beds at day surgery to go to the pre-operation room.
  • Waiting at the pre-operation room to go to the operation waiting room.
  • Waiting at the operation waiting room to go into the operation room.
  • No waiting here, because this operation room is expensive!
  • Waiting at the operation room to go into the recovery room.
  • Waiting at the recovery room to go to the day surgery.
  • Waiting at the day surgery to get out.

Before you get in the operation room, you will be asked the same question every time: Your name, date of birth, name of the doctor and what they are going to do on you. Just to make sure they have the right guy in front of them.

The procedure done on my finger was over in 20 minutes. The anastetic I got was a finger block, two needles in my hand which neutralized all feeling in the ring finger, and some drowsiness stuff which I think didn't really work at all. During the operation I could hear the drill, but not feel the things they did on my finger.

At 14:30, after the operation and when I was out of bed, I was given an arm sling to keep my hand up and a prescription for painkillers. Six hours real-time for a 20 minutes procedure, it's very low duty-cycle.

The finger itself now has a splint at the top of the hand and a lot of bandage around it. You can see the wire sticking out at the top of my finger, which is right now not scary yet...

I was told to take the painkillers when my fingers started to tingle, which was a couple of hours later. Since the pain didn't come back after that, I didn't take anymore and slept through the night.

So is there pain? Yes and no.

There is irritated skin (for lack of a better description) around where the wires are sticking out. But there is no pain because of the drilling, which can be either because there is no pain or because the nerves in my pink and ring finger there are numb: For the last four years I haven't had any feeling in them. I have seen a specialist for it who has done the famous frog tests which will pull your muscles when an electrical current is going through them and they didn't find anything wrong with the nerves there.

Maybe that has gotten me through the night without painkillers, maybe there was no pain to start with...

On Monday I have my first physiotherapy at 08:00.


No comments | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter

My mallet finger - Thursday 9 June 2011

Posted on 2011-06-09 16:00:00
Tags: My mallet finger

We went to see the hand-surgeon. From the X-rays he saw that the break was at a nasty location: it was broken of in the contact area of the joint. First a proper cast instead if the splint and then new X-rays in case the piece of bone was put back in place by the cast: it wasn't.

So the next options were: leave it like this and it will be half-fine or have an operation and it will be fully fine. There are two kind of operations which he could do: a screw with which the broken piece get puts back or a two-wire approach with which the broken piece gets pushed against the bone and regrows that way. Because of the size of the piece broken off we chose for the wire.

After the operation I will have two pieces of wire sticking out of my finger for four to six weeks, but they are luckily under a dressing, and have a cask for that period too. After that everything should be back in volleyball-playing-condition again!

Next update: Coming Wednesday most likely.


Show comment | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter

My mallet finger - Tuesday 7 June 2011

Posted on 2011-06-07 23:59:00
Tags: My mallet finger

A normal Tuesday: wake up, train, work, train, dinner, volleyball. And then hospital, because my lefthand ring-finger got damaged during the volleyball game.

When the finger got hurt, by a bad catch of a badly placed ball, it didn't seem too much. About half a second later I was off the field to get some ice for it.

The people from the Menai Sports center have a great solution for providing cold-packs for injured players: just use a bag of frozen peas, it works as well and doesn't cost as much if never returned.

The "let's see if thus goes over after ten minutes" approach worked fine, except that I nearly fainted after the ten minutes when the finger got bent. And there was a strange hump of the top of the finger. Plan B, off to the hospital.

In the Emergency department you get first investigated by the triage nurse (m/f for the Dutch people who have a different word for a male and female nurse). He wisely didn't touch the finger and wanted to make an X-ray first.

The X-ray departments these days don't work with photographic paper anymore, the receiver is a kind of flat CCD device which wirelessly transfers the image to the image library. Welcome to the 21st century, goodbye to the "clunk clunk" sound of the replacement of the film.

It showed that there was a little triangle of bone broken off and I was told that the tendon was still attached to the piece. That was the reason why it a. Hurt so much when trying to stretch the finger and b. The finger didn't get stretched anymore.

The doctor could tell me that it was called a "mallet finger" and that it was a common breakage for people who play ball-sports. I still don't know the dutch name for it, maybe it only happens in English speaking countries! The doctor knew so much about it because he had had the same injury from the same sport earlier in life. And his finger was close to back to normal and he played volleyball again, so there is hope!

Later in the hospital I got a mega-splint on it and the message for the hand-surgeon, including a CDROM with a JPEG and an uncompressed picture of the X-ray, and I went home.


No comments | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter